Ordinary human mode

It is enough to be, in an ordinary human mode, with one’s hunger and sleep, one’s cold and warmth, rising and going to bed. Putting on blankets and taking them off, making coffee and then drinking it. Defrosting the refrigerator, reading, meditating, working, praying. I live as my fathers have lived on this earth, until eventually I die. Amen. Thomas Merton


To help bring stillness play the audio file at the start and the end of the reading: Angel by Simon Smith - yes, there's lots of silence.

Is it enough?

Is it enough to be, in an ordinary human mode? The renown 20th Century American trappist monk Thomas Merton says yes, it is. Reread the poem. Do you feel like sighing or groaning? Challenged perhaps? Maybe some relief comes in or a sigh escapes you? There might also be a sense of longing for something you don't quite have 'here and now'. Maybe the gap between what I envisage in the 'here and now' and the 'there and then' yawns wide and mocks me? Creation, incarnation, the body and the life of Jesus seems to me to bless and sacramentalise everyday living: the hunger and the sleep, the going to bed, making and drinking coffee and the defrosting of the fridge as well as the more high and mighty working and praying.

It is enough

'I live as my fathers have lived on this earth, until eventually I die.' I feel that his takes some saying. In a similar vein the Franciscan Richard Rohr says that though we are of infinite value we are not important, as in at the centre of the universe. To be content to live, and live as my forebears have done and then to die. It is enough, is Merton's challenge to us.